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Kitchen Countertops Cluttered? Maybe This Is Why

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The kitchen counter is one of my three main hotspots that must be kept clean. For this reason, I have played around with thousands of solutions to keep the clutter under control.

When cluttered countertops become a problem, one of these seven reasons is usually to blame.

kitchen clutter

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1. Having too many small appliances and things on the counter

If I don’t use something at least once a week, it is not allowed on my counter. I have a Keurig on the counter and I use it every day. Therefore, it may be there. I also have a latte maker. I don’t use this every day so it may not.

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Do you store your kitchen utensils like spatulas, larger spoons, and ladles on the counter? If so, that may just be taking up counter space and adding to clutter. If you can fit those kinds of things in a drawer, put them there.

Carefully examine what you keep on the counter and be selective in what you keep there. Ask yourself if it would really be a problem to take something out of the cupboard or nearby closet.

It seems obvious, but the less you have on your counter, the less cluttered it will feel.

2. Not having a convenient place in the kitchen for clutter to go

In addition to a junk drawer in my kitchen, I also keep a magazine file like this.

No matter what I do, with a family as large as mine paper clutter always has a way of making it onto my kitchen counter. Because I know this, I choose to be proactive about it and keep this file right on my counter, tucked out of the way so that it can corral whatever might naturally collect on the counter.

3. Not clearing the counters several times a day

Again, several times a day is necessary for me because I have so many people coming and going, but it only takes a minute or two to take care of a few things. If everything collected throughout the day to take care of only at the end of the day, it becomes a much larger project that I often procrastinate in taking care of because it has become an annoyingly large problem.

4. Not using the one-touch rule

The one touch rule is basically what it sounds like. It is putting everything away completely the first time. Rather than setting a glass in the sink, put it in the dishwasher right away. Don’t let mail clutter the counter, have a designated place for mail. You can read more about how I handle the mail clutter in 7 Rules For Conquering Your Mail Mountain.

5. Not multi-tasking in the kitchen

Multi tasking in the kitchen means that if you will be needing something like chicken twice this week, you cook it only once. This could also apply to chopping vegetables like onions, celery, and carrots as well. The idea is to cook all at once as much as you can. This is also where having a meal plan comes in handy. Then you will know what you are eating all week. Making a mess less, means less of a mess to clean up.

6. Keeping things you don’t use

This is one of the more obvious ones, but often we hang on to things we aren’t using anymore because we feel bad about getting rid of them. Even if they are in your cupboards, they are still taking up space for other things. Make sure that everything you have in your kitchen is something that you are still using.

7. Not training your team

Do you want your family to stop cluttering up the kitchen? Then lay the ground rules, show them how things are supposed to be working, and then enforce what they’ve learned. Husbands and kids can also do plenty to help keep the kitchen countertops clutter free.

In so many ways the kitchen is the heart of the home, but this also makes it a hot spot for clutter. If your kitchen countertops are always cluttered, any of these six reasons might be to blame. Assess your current situation and take care of any of these issues pronto!

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  1. Number 7 states train your team, and it says get your kids and husbands on board.

    Why are you assuming only women ate reading this article? Maybe consider that men also clean the kitchen and perhaps getting your “wife, husband,and children “on board, would be more appropriate.


    1. I’m sure she didn’t mean to offend anyone. She is speaking from her point of view so I understand why she said it. And let’s be honest, mostly women peruse these blogs, but I do think it’s super great that there are gentlemen among the readers here too!

  2. My husband has a hot spot on a small 10 inch strip of counter space right next to the stove. It drives me insane. I’ve placed a small basket there to help him contain his many items (receipts, phone, books, travel mugs, etc) He won’t clear them off. He claims this is his “only spot in the house” (cue the sad violin music). I’ve splattered sauces on his stuff while cooking but he won’t change. It’s maddening. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Julie! From one wife to another I think you’ve done everything you can do with the basket. My husband has one of these on the counter too, and so does my dad, actually. Maybe it’s a guy thing? I guess if the splatters don’t bother him…

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